I cut my patch visit short this afternoon. Just a couple of minutes into my walk, I came into the small Holding area to find disaster. A work crew were ''Cleaning'' the area up for the landowner, the old fruit trees were stripped of the dead wood, the oaks had thier canopies raised, deseased trees were removed, and a raging bonfire signalled that one of the last remnants of real habitat on my patch was being lost - all in the middle of the bird breeding season. Needless to say i was gutted to see this. I was given assurances that the whole area was checked for nesting birds, and (strangely?) none were found.
I know the landowner, and the farmer who was hired to do the work well, and I spent some time trying to put my conservation point of view across to them, but they grew ever more impatient and the attitude was ''its my land and i'll do as I wish''
It now seems not only has a nice piece of habitat been lost, but also the goodwill of the farmer and the landowner towards me. Not that the latter means much to me.
Seeing all the habitat loss, and hearing their lame excuses for doing it, such as 'oh it will all grow back' and ''it looked so untidy'' filled me full of sadness, they just didn't understand what I was trying to say to them. I lost the focus of my walk today, and came home early, hopefully the disappointment will wear off and i can resume my enthusiasm for my patch again. In the meantime, i'm filled with thoughts of moving house, and getting away from small minded people, maybe go to an isolated piece of coast!
PS just one piece of bird news, rather irrelevant now, a CORMORANT (60) flew over as I walked to work this morning, the 60th species for the month.